Post to the Host

Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.

Send GK Your Question »

The Angel's Appearance

September 15, 2008 |

Post to the Host:
We have watched the APHC movie multiple times and never fail to see something new each viewing. One thing we're having trouble deciphering is the angel Asphodel's diner appearance at the end of the movie. No one speaks and then it's over. Please explain the significance. Is she coming to take another soul to the hereafter or is it just left to the viewer's imagination?

Thanks for your help. We look forward to Saturdays for the live show.

Best regards,
Wayne S.
Midland, Ontario

My assumption is that she has come for someone and I don't know who. As it turned out, she came for Bob Altman, but that's beyond the scope of the movie. I am only the author, I don't have the answers. But I loved Virginia Madsen's serene entrance, her walk past the rain-streaked windows of Mickey's Diner on 7th Street in St. Paul. Mr. Altman worked hard on that shot and it was a privilege to watch him do it. Mickey's was shut down for the day and half the booths were taken out to make room for the dolly tracks and camera, and it took hours to get the lighting how he wanted it, and then we had to wait for the sun to go down. Virginia did her entrance four times, as I recall, and did it perfectly — the hard part was getting the right reactions from Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, and the non-actor in the scene, me. That was Meryl's last scene and after it, she stood in the intersection and hugged everybody goodbye and said, "Don't have any fun without me" and then Mr. Altman started work on the opening scene of the movie, Kevin Kline as Guy Noir in the diner and Tim Russell as the cook and Sue Scott the waitress, and Kevin's lighting the cigarette and the walk across the street.

Previous Post:
« Bertha's Kitty Boutique

Next Post:
What Shall We Sing? »

Post to the Host Archive

Complete Post to the Host Archive

American Public Media © |   Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy